Saturday Spotlight – Kris Lord
Chapter: Team RWB National
Member Since: 2014
Motto: “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” ~ John Muir
Why Did You Join Team RWB?
“My heart for veteran support began with my brother, and evolved into much more. Our personal connection, and the shared experience of building a veteran mentorship nonprofit after he left the Army was the beginning of the journey; finding a local chapter of Team RWB, and the mix of veterans and civilians, and physical activity in our gorgeous outdoor Bay Area spaces was the perfect evolution for me. I, too, wondered if I deserved to be a part of this organization at first, but I grew to understand it’s the blend of military and community members that is one of our greatest strengths.”
What has Been Your Favorite Event or Experience with Team RWB?
“My favorite experience with Team RWB is a moment – an email I opened many months after a camp I participated in, that took me completely by surprise. The moment began with an act, not remotely spectacular on my part, but a small piece of conversation, where I asked a question and received an emphatic ’no’ in response, and I felt nothing but respect for where someone was at that time. Little did I know it planted a seed, and opened the door to future conversations and a connection, where both differences and commonality were found. When I received the email many months later, it took my breath away, as it was so unexpected, and touched my heart.”
How do you serve your community?
“Though I’m lucky enough to be on staff, I am still a very active member of my home chapter, and serve on the leadership team. As part of my chapter outreach, I’ve been able to connect with so many local organizations and people, and I am encouraged by the growing importance of social impact work in both for-profit and nonprofit arenas. I continually try to expand that network, because I feel the more I know about who else is doing good work, the better I can serve our members.”
What Inspires You?
“I am continually inspired by both those who get outside of their comfort zones, and those who are truly doing the hands-on work to make a difference. After my own experiences with feeling stuck, and studying the ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ in sociology, I grew to realize just how difficult it can be to pivot in life. It can take a tremendous amount of effort and faith in ourselves and our worth to disregard the old messages, and begin to believe that we can change our direction, and move towards something we want more. This organization gives us ample opportunities to positively impact the trajectory of someone’s life, and to believe we have that power to do so, oftentimes by doing something brave. It takes courage to reach out, and to authentically engage. Our leaders and members do this every day, and it makes a difference.”
How has Team RWB impacted your life?
“The short answer is this awesome job! I spent a long time working with another very deserving population, and the switch to this role was a fantastic opportunity. But, as simple as it sounds, it’s the friends. One of my favorite photos is from the Emerald Bay Trail Race at Lake Tahoe – we’re at the finish, bare feet in the lake, with our red beer cups in hand. Though I could label this photo “Retired Army, Active-Duty Air Force, Army Veteran, Civilian, Civilian”, this wasn’t an RWB event. We were a group of friends who ran a trail race together, and we just happened to meet through Team RWB. I see this as an awesome potential effect of what we do – it can evolve to become something outside the chapter, and into our own community.”
What Would You Say to Someone Who is Thinking of Joining Team RWB?
“There have been so many great answers to this question in past spotlights, and they’re all legit! Our Eagles are a fun, kick-ass group of people to hang out with. I would add that we can keep the social impact mindset active, in both our chapters and our communities, and try to provide that moment that changes someone’s life. We can often see the immediate results of our humble and empathetic efforts to engage with others and meet someone where they are at. But I think it’s equally important to realize that our actions today may have greater impact tomorrow, and could give someone hope that they are deserving of our time and worthy of being heard.”